ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday said that India was triggering arms race in South Asia amid tensions with Pakistan.

Speaking at a weekly news briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui urged international community to dissuade India from its disproportionate arms build-up which could lead to an arms race in South Asia. Reacting to the reports of recent acquisition of Rafale jets by Indian Air Force, Aisha Farooqui said India continues to amass military capabilities beyond its genuine security requirement.

She said that Pakistan had been consistently highlighting the risks of massive Indian arms build-up as well as their offensive security doctrine and force postures, which were adversely affecting strategic stability in South Asia. She said the build-up was being aided and abetted through a policy of exemptions, waivers and supply of advanced equipment, technology and weapons for narrow commercial interests.

On Pakistan’s part, she said, “We remain open to consideration of measures for crisis management, risk reduction, and strategic restraint.”

Islamabad welcomes Afghan Taliban ceasefire

While remaining opposed to any arms race in South Asia, she said that Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to these developments and remains confident of its ability to thwart any ill-considered act of aggression.

The FO spokesperson strongly condemned the restrictions imposed by Indian authorities on Eid-ul-Azha prayers in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

She said that imposition of restrictions on prayers on one of the most important days of the Islamic calendar represents complete disrespect by the Indian government for the sentiments of the Muslims of Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. She said it was also a flagrant violation of their fundamental freedom of religion.

Aisha Farooqui urged the international community, the United Nations and human rights and humanitarian organizations to take notice of glaring denial of the religious rights and freedoms of the Kashmiri people in violation of international laws and conventions.

Commenting on the ceasefire offer by Taliban in Afghanistan during Eid, Aisha Farooqui said that Pakistan welcomes all steps for promoting peace in the neighboring country according to Doha Agreement.

She mentioned that ceasefire violations on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fires, heavy-caliber mortars and automatic weapons continued unabated.